Game Preview: Raiders travel to Denver to face a tenacious Broncos defense

W6gamepreview_thumb_101221

The Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) are heading to the Mile High City to take on AFC West rival Denver Broncos (3-2). Both teams started the season as a mirror image of each other, going 3-0 before suffering two straight losses. The fight will be on as both teams look to get back in the win column and take a divisional lead over the other.

Kickoff is set for Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PT from Empower Field at Mile High.

Broadcast information

Table inside Article
Network/Flagship Play-by-play Color Analyst
TV: CBS Andrew Catalon James Lofton
National Radio: Sports USA John Ahlers Doug Plank
Radio: KOMP 92.3 FM and KRLV "Raider Nation Radio 920 AM" Brent Musburger Lincoln Kennedy
Spanish Radio: Deportes Vegas 1460 AM Cristian Echeverria Harry Ruiz

What to watch for

The Raiders offense has been struggling to get going in the first half of games and will have their work cut out for them going up against the third-best defense in the league. Eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller is leading the charge, with 4.5 sacks to his name through five games after missing all of last season due to injury. The Silver and Black will also have to contend with cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and rookie Pat Surtain II, as well as the potential return of cornerback Ronald Darby, who was activated from injured reserve last week.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos have been slow starters as well, scoring just 13 points in the first quarter compared to the Raiders' eight. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went 24-of-38 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Denver's loss to the Steelers last week. The Raiders defense, which has faced a couple dual-threat QBs this season, will get another one in Bridgewater, who has recorded 57 rushing yards on the season.

Series history

The Raiders lead the all-time series against the Broncos, 66-53-2, and have won four of the last five matchups. The Silver and Black swept the season series against Broncos in 2020, winning 37-12 on Nov. 15 and 32-31 to close out the season on Jan. 3.

Current stats

After Week 5, the Raiders offense ranks 13th in the league in total offense (377.0 yards per game), fourth in passing (298.4 ypg), 29th in rushing (78.6 ypg) and tied for 19th in points (22.6 ppg). Defensively, the Raiders rank 10th in total defense (339.8 ypg), fourth in passing (205.4 ypg), 25th in rushing (134.4 ypg) and 17th in points allowed (24.0 ppg).

The Broncos offense ranks 18th in total offense (357.8 ypg), 22nd in passing (239.2 ypg), 12th in rushing (118.6 ypg) and 24th in points (20.4 points). Defensively, the Broncos rank third in total defense (292.4 ypg), sixth in passing (207.0 ypg), sixth in rushing (85.4 ypg) and second in points allowed (15.2 ppg).

Numbers to know

  • Quarterback Derek Carr needs 22 touchdown passes to become the sixth player in NFL history with 200 career touchdown passes in their first eight seasons.
  • Carr needs to complete 317 passes to surpass Matt Ryan for most completions in NFL history through a player's first eight seasons.
  • Defensive end Maxx Crosby needs to record one sack to become the eighth player in franchise history with at least 20 sacks in his first three seasons.
  • Tight end Darren Waller needs 72 receptions to become the first tight end to record 100 receptions in consecutive seasons.
  • Waller needs 456 receiving yards to tie David Casper for second-most career receiving yards by a tight end in franchise history.

Notable pro connections

  • Raiders defensive backs coach Ron Milus served two stints with the Broncos in the same position from 2000-02 and 2011-12.
  • Raiders linebackers coach Richard Smith also spent two stints with Denver, first as special teams/assistant linebackers coach from 1993-94 and linebackers coach from 2011-14.
  • Raiders strength and conditioning assistant D'Anthony Batiste played the 2010 season for the Broncos as a tackle.
  • Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft and played eight games for the team from 2014-15.
  • Broncos wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El was on the Raiders' practice squad in 2018-19.
  • Broncos outside linebackers coach John Pagano was the Raiders assistant head coach-defense during the 2017 season.

View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 5 matchup against the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium.

Advertising